Finland’s early progressive scene boasted some interesting acts, with the most acknowledged being Wigwam.
Shaking in the shadows were lesser-known greats such as Kalevala, Apollo, Charlies, Tasavallan Presidentti, and Elonkorjuu (Finnish for ‘harvest’). Today, original pressings of albums by all of these artists are worth a small fortune in their own right. Harvest Time by Elonkorjuu is right up there at £1,200 – but is it any good?
Formed in late 1969, Elonkorjuu came second in the 1970 National Finnish Rock Contest and secured a record deal with EMI. Harvest Time features ten excellent tracks conveying tasteful proto-hard rock with jazz, blues and folk influences.
Opener Unfeeling is upbeat, raw and heavy, though not over the top and with a nice measure of subtlety. The lyrics are all in English and sung by frontman Heikki Lajunen. Guitarist Jukka Syrenius is very skilful, and there are some tasteful flute and organ flourishes throughout from Ilkka Poijärvi. The complex A Little Rocket Song brings to mind the Groundhogs and Stray, with hints of first album-era Sabbath. Elsewhere there are Hendrix stylings on the anti-rabbit hunting protest song Hey Hunter.
It’s not an all-out classic, and Harvest Time’s main flaw is the flat production. But it’s perfect for proto-metal enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
Elonkorjuu released a second album Flying High, Running Fast in 1978, and re‑formed in 2003.